Financing an exchange

As a non-profit organisation, we can help you keep exchange costs to a minimum.

How much does a student exchange cost?

The cost of a student exchange depends on the country, the programme length, airfares, and insurance. You can expect to pay anywhere between $7,000 and $18,000 (this covers your NZIIU programme fee, insurance, visa, and airfares). In addition to these expenses, you will need to factor in other costs like pocket money, school set-up fees, school lunches and transportation to and from school.

I am very grateful to NZIIU for granting me with a scholarship – fulfilling my dream to travel and study in another country, Argentina! Having always wanted to experience what studying in another country was like; I jumped at the idea of actually having the opportunity to go on a student exchange. Thank you NZIIU!

Stephen Barnett, Tauranga

You need to be able to cover:

  • The NZIIU programme fee: This includes placement with a host family and in a host school, assistance with visa documentation, and support in the lead up to your exchange and while you’re overseas. The fee varies from country to country.
  • The airfare: You can arrange airfares yourself or let us take care of this for you. We try to choose airfares that strike a balance between price, safety, certainty, good layovers, and acceptable routes. You pay what we pay. Please note that budget airfares don’t usually match exchange dates.
  • Travel insurance: You will need to arrange for comprehensive medical and travel insurance prior to departing New Zealand. We can help you arrange this or you may arrange it independently.
  • Visa costs: Some countries will require you to apply for a visa. We can help you process the application but you may need to pay an application fee and, in some cases, travel costs to the relevant embassy in New Zealand.
  • Pocket money: You will want to have some spending money for socialising, food, leisure, and other activities while on exchange. We recommend taking between NZ$250-$500 per month depending on your chosen country.
  • Travel to and from school: In some countries, you will be required to catch public transport to and from school. You will need to cover this expense yourself.
  • School set-up expenses: You may be required to pay for school expenses such as a uniform, basic school fees, textbooks, and extra-curricular activities. School set-up fees vary from country to country.
  • School lunches: Your exchange fee covers full board and all meals except school lunches, so set aside at least NZ$10 a day.

How we can help?

As a not-for-profit, we help you by:

  • Keeping costs low and charging only for out-of-pocket expenses
  • Charging every student the same fee no matter where they live in NZ
  • Providing scholarships to help eligible students who need financial assistance
  • Charging for actual airfares and insurance separate from your administration fee
  • Providing a fundraising kit for students who would like to raise some funds themselves

Available Scholarships

Each year, we offer over $25,000 in scholarships to help students participate on a student exchange. These are called NZIIU Needs Based Scholarships.

NZIIU Needs Based Scholarships

These scholarships are reserved for students who we believe will be successful on exchange and we believe need financial assistance. You can apply for this scholarship at the time of your interview. We will make a simple informal assessment and then ask you to write a short essay. Most scholarships are between $1,000-$3,000 depending on need, and are allocated on a first-in, first-served basis until the fund is empty. The sooner you apply to go on exchange, the more likely it is we can help you. You can apply as early as 8 months ahead of the application deadline.

Are you eligible for a Needs Based Scholarship?

  • Have you selected an exchange programme that is 3 months or longer?
  • Can you prove your financial need to NZIIU?
  • Do you have high levels of academic and personal motivation and do your school reports reflect this?

If you said yes to all three questions, you are eligible for a scholarship. We will assess your scholarship application after you have been accepted on the exchange programme. If you need extra help with your finances you can also apply for our fundraising pack after acceptance.

If you don’t quite fit our scholarship criteria, don’t worry! You can still opt for our fundraising kit to help fund your exchange.

How to apply for a Needs Based Scholarship?

Indicate your intention to apply for a scholarship on your initial online application form. After you have been interviewed and accepted into one of our exchange programmes, we will ask you to:

Write a short essay.
A half page to one page that addresses the following questions:

  • Why do you want to go on exchange?
  • Why do you think you’re a good candidate for our exchange programme?
  • How will you contribute to your host family, host school, and host community?
  • What would a scholarship mean to you?

Complete a needs-assessment form.
This will be supplied by your student exchange coordinator.

Language Perfect Scholarship

Every year, NZIIU also offers student exchange scholarships to New Zealand schools as part of the World Language Perfect Competition. All Gold and Elite Award students are invited to submit an application. We then select 10 students for an interview to find out all about their character and goals. The students who we feel will best represent New Zealand will be granted the scholarship prize. See the Language Perfect website for more details.

NZIIU Fundraising Kit

Once you have been accepted into an exchange programme, you can apply for an NZIIU fundraising kit to help you reach your savings goals.

The fundraising kit includes:

  • A step-by-step guide to fundraising
  • A list of fundraising ideas
  • An NZIIU t-shirt, fundraising bucket, and pens
  • A $100 grocery voucher
  • A fundraising ledger to keep record of your earnings
  • A letter showing proof of your registration with NZIIU Student Exchange

Terms and Conditions apply.